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Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party

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Abstract

In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the U.S., the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the U.S. government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism. In the face of intense repression, the Party flourished, becoming the center of a revolutionary movement with offices in 68 U.S. cities and powerful allies around the world. Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement, and its disastrous unraveling. Informed by twelve years of meticulous archival research, as well as familiarity with most of the former Party leadership and many rank-and-file members, this book is the definitive history of one of the greatest challenges ever posed to American state power.
... The passing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act was a key accomplishment of the Civil Rights Movement and played a central role in defeating legal segregation for Blacks living in the U.S. South. However, for many Black Americans living outside of the southern United States, such as those in California's ghettos, the Civil Rights Movement did not significantly change their economic or political situation (Bloom & Martin, 2013). Many urban Black communities during the 1960s remained as ghettos due to concentrations of poverty, unemployment, crime, substandard housing conditions, racist housing practices (such as redlining), and overcrowded public schools. ...
... In spite of the growing poverty in urban Black communities, local governments failed to address issues of unemployment and housing discrimination and instead focused on increasing law enforcement, leading to increased police brutality (Abu-Jamal, 2004). Numerous police killings of unarmed Black men were reported as justifiable homicides, which left Black communities across the nation in rage (Bloom & Martin, 2013). One turning point in the Black community's response to police brutality was the beating of Rena Frye, who in 1965 was pulled over by a California highway patrol officer. ...
... Newton and Seale would both obtain their first serious experience of engaging in politics and Black liberation when they joined the Afro-American Association founded by Donald Warden during his days as a student at the University of California, Berkeley. During the meetings of the Afro-American Association, Warden led discussions on Black identity, culture, and the use of capitalism by the Black community to bring about community change (Bloom & Martin, 2013). Later, Newton and Seale joined the Soul Student Advisory Council and proposed that it conduct an armed rally on campus demonstrating the group's opposition to police brutality (Bloom & Martin, 2013). ...
... Certainly, scholars and activists have spent considerable time analysing the horrific experiences of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement, including the FBI's notorious COINTELPRO programme, as well as the resilience of Black liberation movements in the face of this repression (Bloom & Martin. 2016;Churchill and Vander Wall 2001;Rhodes 2007;Balto 2019;Soss and Weaver 2017;Joseph 2006). Yet much of this analysis is lumped under the heading of "police brutality," marginalising the ways that counterterrorism and policing are part of the same law enforcement continuum that situates Black Americans as suspect communities. I argue, inste ...
... 3 Concerningly, this marginalisation of anti-Blackness in CTS has also inhibited the study of both institutional white supremacy and the white supremacist violence it enables. CTS has long been focused on criticising the role of state institutions in dictating the boundaries of "terrorism" as a particularly abhorrent and illegitimate category of violence, as well as what policies are permissible in combating such violence (Raphael 2009;Blakeley 2009;Al-Kassimi 2019). Yet the field has had comparatively little to say about white supremacy within those state institutions, particularly vis-`a-vis Black communities. ...
... So, for what purpose is this training practiced? While some engage in such practices as a part of a larger "prepper" subculture 2 (Mitchell, 2002), and although the U.S. has a rich history of organizing around a combination of armed self-defense and self-determination (e.g., The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) (Bloom & Waldo, 2016), the most visible contemporary association is between tactical training culture and rightwing protest and counter-protest. In fact, it has become common to see armed counter-protesters at racial justice protests and armed vigilantes/private militias "protecting" local businesses, confederate monuments, and national borders during periods of high racial tension (Williams, 2021;Wood, 2020). ...
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This chapter makes sense of armed counter-protest by viewing it as a form of bottom-up, white supremacist "violence work." Because many of these counter-protestors arm themselves and/or belong to private militias, this movement encroaches on the liberal state's allocation of "violence work"-a form of labor characterized by its ability to forcefully or violently "maintain order"-to a specialized force of government agents (e.g., police and, military). This "on the ground" activity is spurred by an interpretation of the historic function of the state, makes a demand that the state continue to serve that function, and works outside the supposed boundaries set by the state to ensure the function is met. By arming themselves, training in techniques that closely resemble those employed by state violence workers, and making themselves especially visible during times of racial justice protest, these groups work to maintain American systems of white supremacy.
... 12 Crises also create circumstances apt for the formation of new popular organizations. Historical examples of organizations born of crisis are myriad, ranging from the council systems Hannah Arendt admiringly observed to have independently appeared in the midst of various revolutionary situations (e.g., the United States, France, and Russia, Arendt, 2006) to the many Black radical organizations that arose during the U.S. urban rebellions of the late 1960s-most notably the Black Panther Party (Bloom & Martin, 2016). Though political organizing during normal political times is indispensable, not least because it can serve to cultivate the types of popular agency that make transformative action possible once crisis arrives, it is also undeniable that crisis conditions have been historically generative for building emancipatory organizations. ...
... According to William Sales, "without the revolutionary nationalism and Pan Africanism of Malcolm X, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee's White Paper on Power Black, its White Paper on the Vietnam War, and its subsequent activism in opposition to the war and U.S. imperialism generally would not have occurred when it did" (Sales 1994, 171). We further see the intellectual genealogy and continued affinity with Shabazz's CAHRC in various expressions from the development of Max Stanford's (Muhammad Ahmad) Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) to Black Power activists to the Black Panther Party (Henderson 2018;Joseph 2007;Bloom and Martin 2016). From Black Student Movements to the Black Arts Movement as well as the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa (Woodard 2005;Benson 2015;Fredrickson 1997). ...
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This article places El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz’s praxis, as well as the Africana [Black] movement for freedom, into a human rights discourse. Exploring his evolution into an internationalist activist-theoretician in five rhythmic movements, if you will, the opening; the transitioning; the solidification; the influencing; and the continuities, it is the central premise of this article that in order to truly grasp the breadth and depth of the Africana [Black] struggle for freedom we must explore those involved and their contributions as a product of a critical human rights consciousness. Accordingly, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz becomes an archetype in this regard. This idea rests upon the assertion that his praxis, albeit incomplete, due to his untimely death, represents an important nexus in the Africana struggle for freedom, merging various manifestations of radical praxis into a clearer articulation of the Black radical tradition.
... Their essential characteristics involve changes in consciousness, shifts in collective behavior, and transformation in institutional values (Castells, 1984). Social movements raise consciousness through mass mobilization with the goal of fundamentally changing institutional structures, and their appeal is largely one grounded in values and human rights (Jasper, 2014 (Bloom & Martin, 2013;Kauffman, 2017;Emejulu & Scanlon, 2016;Piven & Cloward, 1978). ...
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Due to multiple factors, the community practice field struggles with incongruent community practice language and activities. In this article , authors unpack various challenges associated with community practice and explore implications for analysis, development, and application of effective interventions. Grounded in applied social science paradigms, authors offer a framework incorporating multi-paradig-matic approaches to inform intervention development and application. Principally centered in praxis-that is, reflection and action-this article builds on the work of foundational scholars to cultivate contextual interventions in planned change work. The authors aim to further develop the community practice knowledge base, expand what constitutes relevant evidence, and aid practitioners in making sense of complexity and contradiction in practice.
... As described in chapter 1, the characteristics that distinguish this group are analogous to Proud Boys, or any other alt-right gang. That group, however, was the Black Panther Party (see Bloom & Martin 2016). As history shows, when law enforcement at the local and/or federal level is seriously concerned about a group, it will use overtly oppressive actions to disrupt and disband the group, as observed with the Black Panthers (Ward 2018). ...
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Alt-Right Gangs provides a timely and necessary discussion of youth-oriented groups within the white power movement. Focusing on how these groups fit into the current research on street gangs, Shannon E. Reid and Matthew Valasik catalog the myths and realities around alt-right gangs and their members; illustrate how they use music, social media, space, and violence; and document the risk factors for joining an alt-right gang, as well as the mechanisms for leaving. By presenting a way to understand the growth, influence, and everyday operations of these groups, Alt-Right Gangs informs students, researchers, law enforcement members, and policy makers on this complex subject. Most significantly, the authors offer an extensively evaluated set of prevention and intervention strategies that can be incorporated into existing anti-gang initiatives. With a clear, coherent point of view, this book offers a contemporary synthesis that will appeal to students and scholars alike.
... Second, having explicit political and personal commitments can grant one access to spaces that an objective researcher would not (Hale, 2008;Vargas, 2008). Black-led organizing spaces are actively guarded, as organizations may be dealing with state infiltration, conflicts between movement factions, and other realities that can destabilize movement work (Bloom & Martin, 2016;Vargas, 2008). By maintaining an explicit commitment to the political goals of the movement under study, one has a better chance of engaging in social movement work. ...
... The dynamics of distinction and solidarity are by no means unique to the Dreamers. We find similar relational dynamics in the LGBTQ, civil rights, and women's movements (Armstrong 2002;Bloom and Martin 2013;Valocchi 1999;Warner 1999). Privileged members within these movements highlight attributes of their group that conform to established social norms. ...
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Undocumented immigrant youths, known as the Dreamers, rose to exceptional prominence in the American immigrant rights movement in the 2000s and 2010s. The Dreamers had considerable success in presenting themselves as assimilated and hard-working patriots worthy of regularization. While this strategy worked well in the media and politics, it also created a distance between the Dreamers and less privileged groups of undocumented immigrants. In 2013, just when they were widely recognized as legitimate, the Dreamers made the remarkable move to change their strategy: rather than presenting themselves as model immigrants uniquely worthy of regularization, they began mobilizing for policies benefiting all undocumented migrants. By documenting and explaining this change in strategy, this paper addresses the broader question of what separates and binds privileged and underprivileged subgroups in social movements.
... By transplanting Drew's words from the Circle Seven Koran and layering it onto the 1960s socio-political climate, El effectively transformed Drew into a Black Power prophet, who prophesised the failure of civil rights integrationism and forewarned his posterity against the dangers of racial integration. While rejecting Black Power methods of militancy, Jeffries-El was inspired by the NOI's ten point-program called "What the Muslims Want" and by the Black Panther Party's ten-point-program called "What We Want Now!" and "What We Believe" (Bloom and Martin 2013). El crafted a similar ten-point Moorish manifesto called "Let My People Go" designed to build positive African-American communities. ...
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The Handbook of Islamic Sects and Movements offers a multinational study of Islam, its variants, influences, and neighbouring movements, from a multidisciplinary range of scholars. It looks especially at contemporary manifestations of Sunni, Shia, Sufi, fundamentalist, and fringe Islamic movements.
... Limited scholarship highlights how marginalized populations, at times, turn to firearms as a response to violence. For example, though current national discourse emphasizes (and lauds) the nonviolent stance of Martin Luther King, Jr., armed resistance was an integral part of the broader push for asserting equal rights for black people in the United States during the 1960s (Bloom and Martin 2013;Cobb 2014;Johnson 2014;Joseph 2009;Wendt 2007). Yet, theorizing on the connection between perceptions of vulnerability, self-defense, and gun ownership has mostly left out marginalized population's voices in the United States. ...
Article
Sociological literature on gun ownership in the United States has primarily centered on white, heterosexual, cisgender men and vulnerability to violence. However, many gun owners do not fit this profile. In this article, I begin to fill this gap by focusing on one group—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people—and answer the question: How does the status of being a vulnerable gender and/or sexual minority shape LGBTQ gun owners’ perspectives on gun ownership? To do so, I focus on gun literature, LGBTQ lives, and questions of vulnerability, and draw on in-depth interviews with 30 LGBTQ gun owners from across the United States. In this study, LGBTQ gun owners highlight two major themes. First, they discuss how their gender expression/sexuality creates possibilities for violence. Second, they relate minority oppression with the violent uprisings that created the LGBT movement. As such, these LGBTQ gun owners go against the LGBT movement’s discourse of pro-gun control and structural change.
... Not content only to preach, however, they sought to construct the new, post-capitalist society they saw as necessary, creating "free stores" to distribute donated, surplus, or stolen goods and offering free medical care and housing. Across the bay, the Black Panthers were creating a series of "survival programs" to provide food, education, and health care to impoverished black communities, relying also on donations and surplus (Bloom & Martin, 2013). ...
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Recent movements against food waste, seen as an issue in and of itself, build on a much longer tradition of movements around food waste, which use unsellable but still edible food—which we call “ex-commodities”—both as a material resource for activist projects and a symbol to denounce other social and ecological ills. In this chapter, we examine three movements—Food Not Bombs, freeganism, and Disco Soupe—that publicly reclaim and redistribute ex-commodified food. Despite this superficially similar activity, they attach different meanings to that food that show the shifting politicisation of food waste over the last decades. We reveal that as movements have narrowed their framings and targeted food waste specifically as a problem, they have also narrowed the horizons of what impacts tackling food waste could actually have. Yet, it is partly through de-politicising the use of food waste that movements have gained access to policy-making and changed markets, in a context where governments, businesses, and charities have all endorsed the fight against food waste.
... L'espace hybride dans lequel se déploie cette pratique ne naît pas tant dans les années 1930 grâce à l'action de Saul Alinsky, comme le défendent la majorité des travaux existants (Fisher, 1994 ;Schutz, Miller, 2015), qu'à la fin des années 1970. En effet, l'espace et le groupe professionnel qui lui donne forme naissent de la rencontre de deux répertoires d'action collective jusqu'alors portés par des groupes distincts : d'une part, l'offre politique réformatrice développée par Alinsky au sein de l'Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), fondée en 1940, qui plonge ses racines dans une tradition d'intervention sociale professionnelle issue des mouvements progressistes du début du siècle, la community organization (Wenocur, Reisch, 2001) ; de l'autre, les pratiques contestataires des mouvements sociaux des années 1960-1970, et en particulier le militantisme de proximité dans les lieux de vie qui se développe dans certains secteurs du mouvement pour les droits civiques et se diffuse à d'autres foyers de contestation (Bloom, Martin, 2014 ;Breines, 1989 ;Payne, 2007). ...
... Como era uma organização que extrapolava o campo feminista, tanto em sua origem quanto em sua visão de mundo, não abordarei neste trabalho. Para mais, cf.(BLOOM, 2016) 140 No original: The system of capitalism (and its afterbirth…racism) under which we all live has attempted by many devious ways and means to destroy the humanity of all people, and particularly the humanity of Black people. This has meant an outrageous assault on every Black man, woman, and child who reside in the United States.(BEALE, ...
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Fruto de um acúmulo de debates que floresceram durante a ebulição das lutas de 1968, a Teoria da Reprodução Social (TRS) ressurge, no século XXI, como reação prático-teórica de intelectuais críticos e ativistas às três décadas de reestruturação neoliberal. O aprofundamento da crise estrutural desencadeada a partir de 2007-2008, avança através da intensificação das formas de expropriação e rebaixamento das condições de vida das trabalhadoras e dos trabalhadores. Um despertar do autoritarismo em escala global também marca a presente conjuntura. Superá-la, depende da reconstrução de alternativas concretas de emancipação e de pontes transnacionais de solidariedade. Isto implica a reformulação da noção de classe trabalhadora e dos mecanismos materiais que possibilitariam sua união – sem que suas especificidades de raça, gênero e sexualidade sejam subsumidas ou hierarquizadas. Assim, feministas-marxistas da reprodução social buscam compreender estas relações como momentos de uma totalidade social complexa. Ao desvelar as formas não-remuneradas de trabalho que constituem a experiência feminina elas buscam uma compreensão unitária da condição humana sob o capitalismo. Quais contradições constituem o capitalismo e, portanto, devem ser consideradas em sua superação? A TRS, constitui um terreno ainda inexplorado pelo público brasileiro. O objetivo desta dissertação é contribuir para a introdução deste debate no Brasil. Proponho uma reconstrução crítica da teoria unitária elaborada por Lise Vogel e das contribuições contemporâneas ao seu desenvolvimento. Tal reconstrução engloba uma discussão de fundo sobre a proposta de elaboração de uma teoria unitária à luz da noção marxiana de totalidade social. Para contribuir com este debate, apresento outras teorias que se lançaram ao desafio de produzir uma análise unitária das relações de opressão e produção sob o capitalismo, tal qual a análise das relações de raça e classe de David Roediger e o feminismo-marxista negro e anticolonial de Angela Davis. Trata-se de um esforço inicial e não-exaustivo de mapear, traduzir, sistematizar e debater a TRS e os debates que a envolvem.
... Over time, the Party's rhetoric and culture shifted in response to those challenges. Newton reached out to the women's liberation movement, key figures began to talk about the continuities between racism, patriarchy, and heterosexism, and, during the 1970s, women increasingly took leadership positions within the Party (Bloom and Martin, 2013: 305-308). 2. The turn to intercommunalism and the expansion of the community programmes were controversial within the Party. ...
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Recent interventions in critical security studies have argued that the field has struggled to account for the racialised/racist foundations of security politics. This article engages with the US Black Panther Party (BPP), arguing that the Party did important work to show how security politics is dependent on racial violence. The idea that we can theorise global politics through struggle (`struggle as method’) is becoming popular within disciplinary International Relations (IR), but has longer lineages in Black radical thought. The BPP were important advocates of struggle as method, with tactics and strategies intentionally designed with a pedagogical purpose; through Panther actions (including community self-defence and survival programmes), and the state’s response to these, the mechanisms of capitalist white supremacy were laid bare. The article therefore acknowledges BPP action as a series of theoretical interventions, which demonstrated how the terms of US/white security are rooted in and dependent on anti-Blackness. It also shows how Panther tactics prefigured alternative, radical, anti-statist approaches to security, these conceptualised as `survival pending revolution’. The article closes by arguing that scholarship on critical security studies - especially as related to the racialised politics of security - should do more to work with and acknowledge its indebtedness to struggle as method.
... Consciousness and context are thus necessary requisites to action within racial struggles from Frantz Fanon (Burman, 2018) to W.E.B. Du Bois (Aptheker, 1973) to the Black Panther Party (Bloom & Martin, 2013). ...
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Critical discourse on the role of slavery in U.S. history curriculum has tended to rely on calls for justice through truth and complexity. Yet the “truth” of slavery is almost incomprehensibly violent, constituting a form of “historical trauma”; the resultant instructional methods thus resemble what Berry and Stovall term a “curriculum of tragedy.” Ethical questions emerge regarding this method. Chiefly, if slavery constitutes a “historical trauma,” what are the possibilities of a Trauma-Informed curriculum? What are the responsibilities owed to students and historical subjects? Building from critical interventions in Black Feminist Theory and the work of the Frantz Fanon, I propose curricular interventions that attempt to mediate concurrent dynamics of trauma, pain, mourning, action, and revenge.
... 19-22). 4 For scholarship on the Black Panther Party see (Seale 1970;Joseph 2006;Bloom and Martin 2013;Jones 2005;Ogbar 2005;Murch 2007, pp. 333-45). ...
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This article examines the reach of Black Internationalism, a dialogue on race, politics, and modernity nurtured by Black nationalists in the United States, between 1971 and 1974. It focuses on Israel’s encounter with the topic and how Israeli political leaders neutralize its effects. Israel, one of America’s closes Cold War allies, faced three explosive movements with ties to the discourse and politics of Black Internationalism—the Israeli Black Panthers, the Black Hebrews, and the Jewish Defense League. Each group challenged the narrative of inclusion the nation cultivated since its inception. Israel’s ability to manage the crisis of Black Internationalism demonstrates the topic’s global reach in the final stages of the Cold War, but also its limitations.
... Newton noted that being a "fool" for revolution is akin to Paul's being a "fool for Christ," and Vesey was certainly aware of the importance of utilizing Biblical principles as a strategic means of galvanizing enslaved Black people to engage in armed resistance in early nineteenth-century South Carolina. 92 In "The Narrations of the Destruction of Saint-Domingue in the Late 18th Century and their Reinterpretations after the Bicentennial of the Haitian Revolution" Anju Bandau utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to literary and cultural studies in order to flesh out the significance of the "context of the revolutionary Atlantic" and move our understanding of the impact of the Haitian Revolution beyond "the binary model of metropolis-colony" and "the transatlantic triangle created by the slave trade" -indeed, this is a gesture towards "decolonial studies." 93 An approach of this kind has major implications for studies of Vesey, even as he is an exception to the notion that the work of those "[s]tudying the Haitian Revolution ... try to study written testimony of African (American) emancipation where there are no written testimonies by (former) slaves known to us today, a situation sharply contrasting with the anglophone context" because even in a predominantly English-speaking context like his, the "veracity" of the data is subject to debate. ...
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Engagement in antislavery activism within a polyglot, imperial space required courage. The debate about what has come to be known as the Denmark Vesey conspiracy to engage in armed resistance against American slavery continues to occupy an emotional place in the hearts and minds of Americans and non-Americans across race, class, gender, sex, and other self-identification and collective-identification lines. The novel approach that this study takes to the conspiracy situates Vesey and other Atlantic figures in the African diaspora as creatures of the Atlantic: he was a figure that this study seeks to connect to the Atlantic world, via Charleston, South Carolina, a city that was one of the cultural and economic centers of an expanding Atlantic market – one of the jewels of the Atlantic slavocracy or machine – a world of revolutionary sentiment and a world that was defined by the ever-changing landscape of freedom and enslavement in the revolutionary Atlantic world during the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. What is novel about this approach, this Atlantic perspective, is that it works to establish a connection of circum-Atlantic dynamics to Charleston and to make the connection between the Denmark Vesey conspiracy and revolutionary nationalisms in the Atlantic world, specifically focusing on the emergence of Black nationalism and pan-Africanism as a part of a larger re-visioning of Denmark Vesey as an Atlantic figure whose story connects histories of nationalism in Africa and in the African diaspora. One of the most fascinating features embedded in the Denmark Vesey conspiracy is what it reveals about the circum-Atlantic world. The fact that Vesey’s plot reveals the nexus or the originating nodes of pan-Africanism is a quite remarkable one. Vesey’s case reveals that he and other Atlantic figures played instrumental roles in the creation of the African diaspora. The planning of operations of resistance based on ethnic affiliation, or gangs, is one of the elements that reveals that pan-Africanism was not the sole creation of modern Black intellectuals. Modern Black intellectuals subsequently articulated pan-Africanistic themes that had been expressed by earlier Black antislavery nationalists, such as Denmark Vesey. The impetus or catalyst for what would later be understood as pan-Africanism and Black power ideology stemmed from the enslaved for it was they who worked clandestinely to forge Black identity and form community in the eighteenth century, which led to an explosion of pan-Africanistic antislavery activism as well as an emergence of nationalistic pioneers who formed Black communities in the Atlantic world on all sides. Published in: The Journal of Pan African Studies
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The police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and other Black people in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic inspired the largest mass protests against structural racism since the 1960s. These interlocking crises also encouraged higher education scholars and instructors to reassess how to teach social justice in virtual settings. Drawing from political education programs, past and present, and higher education scholars’ and experts’ insights on online instruction and community building, I reconceive a class I taught, “Resisting State Violence: Race, Policing, and Social Justice in Twentieth Century America,” as a synchronous virtual course. In this chapter, I illustrate how historians and other instructors in higher education could teach students histories of oppression and resistance, but also to develop organizing tools to engage their environments in-person or virtually.
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The colonial miseducation oppressed people have historically gotten in the United States keeps dispossessed people alienated from resources, belief systems, and ways of being that are inherently theirs. Pro-people, anti-colonial, and abolitionist social movements provide important insights for educational researchers and teacher educators to consider in their scholarship and preparation of classroom practitioners. This article, thus, advocates for research that understands the educational experiences and insights, and advances and celebrates the aspirations of multiply marginalized and colonized people in the United States, namely Black, Indigenous, and other children and youth of Color.
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This article explores the effects of the recent discursive re-articulation of terrorism into one of violent extremism. To do that, we examine the conditions for the emergence of the “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) strategy as a solution to diagnoses of failure in the war on terror. More specifically, we historicise the architecture of counterterrorism in the U.S., revealing the formation of an inside/outside division between agencies engaged with counterterrorism. The two subsequent sections dissect the main discursive pillars of the problematisation of “violent extremism” abroad and inside the U.S. and discuss their main effects on dissidence, stretching from de-legitimation of political agendas to criminalisation of specific social conducts while in protest. The second section exposes how “Islamic radicalism” is at the core of initiatives undertaken abroad through the CVE strategy, and the third section analyses the domestic appropriation of “violent extremism” towards antiracist movements in the U.S. Finally, we show that agencies working either inside or outside the U.S. operate with the same problematisation of “violent extremism” and advance similar practices. We argue that the transnational circulation of such discourse is one of the main veins through which dissidence has been managed both inside and outside the U.S.
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This paper contributes to scholarship on the origins of the US environmental justice movement (EJM) through exploration of the early EJM in California. The national EJM is often seen as having grown out of the intersection of environmentalism and the Black civil rights movement in the 1982 protests in Warren County, North Carolina. This paper adds weight to alternate narratives that depict the EJM as drawing on a variety of racialized social movement infrastructures that vary regionally. These infrastructures, as they were built in California, are analyzed as regional racial projects responding to histories of white supremacy that are connected through social movement spillover. This conceptual framework illuminates the place-based ways in which racial oppression and racial justice responses create social movement infrastructure that persists across multiple movement formations, both across contemporary groups and through time. The paper draws on data gathered from existing case studies and oral histories, in-depth interviews, participant observation, and archival documents to offer a capacious view of the EJM’s origins.
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In the 1970s and 1980s, Puerto Rican and Chicana/o/x radicals from across the United States developed a sophisticated theory of fascism as part of a broader effort to defend themselves against government repression and apply the lessons of the rightward trajectories of many Latin American countries. In the process, they built panethnic alliances that helped spur the emergence of Latina/o/x identity as it is commonly understood in the twenty-first century. This article uses the Movimiento de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Movement, or MLN) as a case study of this broader process because of its binational character and its persistent willingness to grapple with both the theory and practice of fascism and anti-fascism in the United States and in Latin America. While the MLN abandoned its own panethnic structure in the early 1980s, its legacy of Latina/o/x struggle against far right and white nationalist forces persists into the present moment.
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TO INFLUENCE?: EXPLORING THE SOCIO-ECOLOGY OF ZOO-MORPHIC IMAGERY ON THE NORTHERN COLORADO PLATEAU Figurative zoo-morphic imagery is but one of a broad variety of created morphologically distinct depictions that can be used, both in isolation and in complexly configured modes of communication, to exploit the sensory responses of viewers. While contemporary observations of zoo-morphic petroglyphs and pictographs (i.e. rock-art) elicit varied interpretations and assignments of meaning relative to broader re-constructions of past socio-cultural systems, it is often assumed that the imagery reflects the creator’s intimate knowledge of behavior and habitat of the subject. In contemporary and recent historic times communicating visually the behavioral characteristics of a species is made often in the absence of interaction or proximity with the subject species while meaning and significance of the imagery is supported within a socio-cultural history and environmental setting. This paper explores varied social conditions and settings within which images depicted of particular species communicate information to targeted observers. I assess the extent to which the creation and placement of zoo-morphic imagery, through time, may intentionally be employed in an attempt to influence or manipulate the behavior of others. With this background I suggest measurable propositions with which to initiate a search for potential patterning in the placement of pre-historic zoo-morphic imagery within the Colorado River drainage system of Utah.
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After being released from prison, Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton produced an analysis of globalization and empire, automation, genocide, the relationship between race and nationalism, and the fate of surplus populations that he called intercommunalism. Grounded in a critique of internationalism and an embrace of the alternate concept of "liberated territories," this theory informed the BPP Central Committee's explicit strategic turn in the 1970s to commune building as a way to develop autonomous power. This essay is meant to serve as an introduction to Huey Newton's “Intercommunalism” (1974) and as a contextualization of Newton’s theory of intercommunalism as a whole. I outline Huey Newton’s political-economic account of global empire, contextualize Newton’s philosophical method—dialectical materialism—within his personal intellectual history, and trace the progression of the Black Panther Party’s “official ideology” from Black Nationalism to Revolutionary Intercommunalism, informed by historical debates within the Black Liberation movement. In the second half of the paper, applying Newton’s theory, I offer a new interpretation of the BPP’s shift in strategy from “self defense” to “survival pending revolution,” give an account of the political import of the BPP’s Oakland commune, and reflect on some connections to political struggles today.
Thesis
This qualitative study which relied on document analysis, starts by acknowledging how nationalism, from its modern genesis in the ideas of the Italian political philosopher, Niccolò Machiavelli in the 16th century, spread to other parts of the world because of European imperial colonialism. The study then foregrounds the irony that Africans who spearheaded anti-colonial struggles embraced the notion of nationalism as a unifying and liberating force against European colonialism. The case is made through a close examination of the divisive and often tragic modus operandi of Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), the two main contending nationalist movements that mobilized people in the then Southern Rhodesia against colonial rule, between 1977 and 1990. While nationalism was used as a positive force of mass mobilization, the study also reveals how the decades-long antagonism between ZAPU and ZANU is instructive and exemplary of the inherent instability in the concept and conceptualization of nationalism. The study brings to bear theories that have exposed the social constructedness of nationalism and how this is explained by its fierce contestednedness in the recent history by Zimbabwe’s main nationalist movements. The study concludes by observing that the reality of nationalism lies in that it is socially constructed and can therefore be mobilized for better or for worse depending on the interests of individuals or organizations. Corollary to this conclusion is that nationalism’s existence in a perpetual state of constructed transition, is both a cause and function of its continual contestation.
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